of New City plead guilty today to second-degree grand larceny in connection with the theft of more than $400,000 from the
Bidnick, who was the league's treasurer from 2003 to 2011, appeared in Rockland County Court and accepted a plea deal that could result in her serving a one-year county jail term or six months in county jail and five years probation when she is sentenced on July 20.
"She admitted she stole the money," said Bidnick’s attorney, Bruce Klein of the Bronx.
Klein said his client did not want a jury trial. Bidnick, 58, had to decide by today to accept a plea deal or go to a jury trial.
Assistant District Attorney Gary Lee Heavner said Bidnick diverted an amount of checks and cash that was “substantially over $400,000” between April 1, 2006 and April 30, 2011 from the Little League. He said $230,000 was repaid during that time span.
“While the theft was ongoing, money was being paid back,” Klein said.
Additionally, $100,000 more has been repaid since April 2011 and Klein will give the Little League a $20,000 check on Thursday.
Heavner said there would be further review to determine whether there is still an outstanding sum of money to be repaid. He said it could be zero or another $70,000.
“In essence, the $120,000 might be the full restitution,” Heavner said.
“She’s trying to do what she can to make New City Little League whole,” Klein said. “We believe we can show there was an additional amount of money paid back during the years we are asking them to give us credit for.”
He said they are working to show that $70,000 to $80,000 more was repaid. If the district attorney’s office determines more money must be repaid, that will be reimbursed over a period of time.
Klein said he has submitted information to the court explaining what was going on at the time of the theft and that may be brought up at the July sentencing.
“She acknowledges that she’s guilty,” he said. “She’s sorry for her conduct. She has expressed remorse from the beginning.”
Lon Hofstein, president of the New City Little League, said the league appreciated the work of the District Attorney’s Office and its efforts to recoup the money owed to the organization. He expressed appreciation for the understanding of vendors and umpires who agreed to continue working and providing services until the league could pay them.
“I reached out to every vendor personally,” he said. “They were very good, supportive. The umpires were very supportive.”
Another action took place immediately after the discovery of the disappearance of the funds.
“We put new checks and balances in place,” said Hofstein. “It is done by a committee.”
Judge Charles Apotheker spoke directly to the two members of the New City Little League, who attended the hearing. He pointed out the need for more oversight and a CPA to review their financial accounts.
“I can’t understand for the life of me how you allowed this to happen,” he said. “This should be a lesson for your organization for all organizations in Rockland County. I’m just concerned it had gone on for so long.”